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Health official warns failure to take vaccines could help spread covid-19 as female journalists share their views

Photo credit: Voa

The covid-19 vaccine plays a critical role in preventing deaths and hospitalizations caused by variants of COVID-19.  It’s contributing to controlling the spread of disease and its impact on infection and serious illness is significant according to the World Health Organization (W.H.O). Still, despite that, some people including journalists don’t believe the vaccines can prevent them from contracting the virus. 

Alima S. Bajinka, a female journalist working for the online News site, The Fatu Network expresses her doubt about the vaccines. Miss Bajinka claims that the covid vaccines can not prevent her from covid 19. 

“Well yes, I already build a preconceived mind about the vaccine, that is the vaccine cannot protect me against the virus so why fear? So I feel comfortable but am always cautious when in public and I take the precautionary measures seriously.” Alima explained.

However, Sally Jeng, a Gambian journalist working with Radio France International English Service stated that, for her, it was important for her to take the covid jabs because it makes her job easy. She echoes that taking the covid vaccine enables her to do her job without any hindrance. 

“Taking the vaccines help me a lot.  It makes my travels easy. I covered the Africa Cup of Nations and perhaps without the vaccines, I won’t be in Cameroon to cover my country’s first appearance in AFCON. For me, it was good to take the vaccine because I can not sensitize people to take the vaccine and write about the importance of taking the vaccine when I do not take the myself that will be hypocrisy on my side.” Sally said. 

Binta Jarjue, a broadcaster working for Kaira Community Radio in Kuloro, Kombo East said it is important to take the covid vaccine because it helps to protect one from contracting the coronavirus. 

“I have taken the covid-19 vaccine because it is safe and recommended for all. And also it is important to be vaccinated considering my work as a journalist we interact with different people to protect ourselves, our families and our colleagues at the workplace.” Binta Jarjue said. 

Alima S. Bajinka asserted in the Gambia many people take the vaccine so as they could travel abroad but since she is a Gambian-based journalist, she does not see the need to take the vaccine, to her taking the vaccine has little impact in executing her duties as a journalist.  

“Most people take the vaccine so to be able to travel out or so, me on the other hand have been around since COVID erupt and I have been doing my job without any hindrance. So I did not see the need to take the vaccine hence it was not a hindrance to my job or social activities.” Alima said. 

Nonetheless, the former Paradise TV news anchor, Sally Jeng has a different view from her colleague, Alima S. Bajinka. The RFI English reporter repudiated assertions that people take vaccines for traveling clearances and not just for prevention.  

“I took the vaccine to prevent myself from covid 19 not just for traveling’s sake. Even before all the traveling stuff, I had already taken the Vaccine. When covid started I was doing a program called let’s talk Covid and that includes talking to people about the importance of vaccines Imagine me telling people on my podcast to take vaccines without taking them myself”. Sally said. 

Sulayman Jarjue, a public health officer at the Brikama Major Health Centre warned that people’s failure to take the covid 19 vaccine might help prolong the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic.  

“Global of the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in an unprecedented level of public interest in the vaccine.  Failure to vaccinate widely also enabled the continued circulation of the virus and the generation of variants, including some that may post a great risk.”

So far, as of 9th August 2022, the Covid-19 vaccination updates breakdown of the doses administered by regions in the country shows as follows: Number of doses administered in WR1 – Male – 88784, Female -92644 (181428); WR2 – Male – 33542, Female – 40988 (74530); URR – Male – 31942, Female – 41865 (73807); CRR – Male – 25249, Female -39476 (64725); LRR – Male 14035, Female – 23902 (37937); NBWR – Male 13792, Female – 21253 (35045) and NBER – Male – 10134, Female – 16906 (27040). With this update, the numbers of vaccinated female in the country are more than male throughout all the regions.

This story was produced with support from Journalists for Human Rights (JHR), through its Mobilizing Media in the Fight Against COVID-19 in partnership with LamToro News.

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